For his new video, Ryan Adams found himself in a field of red poppies with the Emerald City looming in the background. And though there was no Toto and there were no flying monkeys, Elton John was there to drive home the point that Adams certainly wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
Actually, it was Long Island City, New York, to be specific, on the set of Adams’ video for “Answering Bell,” the second single from his second solo album, Gold. The clip, shot Friday by director Luke Scott (Train, Deana Carter), is loosely based on L. Frank Baum’s classic novel about a dream-world stumbled upon after a nasty blow to the head. And like Dorothy’s imagined adventure, the idea for the “Answering Bell” video came to Adams while he, too, was in a somewhat delirious state.
Adams was scheduled for a round of interviews with the press while in Hamburg, Germany, but fell ill and canceled. With nothing to do but rest and think, Adams put the downtime to good use.
“I’m all hopped up on whatever it is they give you to get rid of the flu, and I call my manager with this really great idea for the video. It’s like a really tripped out version of ’The Wizard of Oz.’ ”
He said his next calls were to Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz, who supplies backing vocals on the track, and Elton John, who’s been an outspoken proponent of Adams since Gold was released in September. Both appear in the clip, as does singer/songwriter Leona Naess, the object of Adams’ affection as evidenced by the make-out scene in the poppy field. While the two lovebirds are entwined amongst the flowers, Sir Elton, looking exceptionally regal in a purple cape with star-topped scepter in hand, looks on just a few feet away.
The video is expected to surface in February, according to a Lost Highway Records spokesperson.